Nowadays, we can see many girls are named after the names of rivers like Ganga, Narmadha, etc., Is this allowed in our holy books? Provide your answer along with reference.

1 Answer 1


Looks like there are statements not to name them after rivers.

Manu gives some characteristics of a woman a twice born man should not marry.

naṛkṣavṛkṣanadīnāmnīṃ nāntyaparvatanāmikām |
na pakṣyahipreṣyanāmnīṃ na ca bhīṣaṇanāmikām || 9 ||

Nor one bearing the name of an asterism, or a tree, or a river; nob one having her name after a low caste or a mountain; nor one named after a bird, a serpent or a slave; nor one with a name inspiring terror.—(9) [Manu Smriti 3.9]

Medhatithi commentary for relevant topic.

Asterism’ is constellation; one who bears the name of one of these; such as ‘Ārdrā,’ ‘Jyeṣṭhā,’ and the like.

‘Bearing the name of a tree’—such as ‘Śiṃśapā,’ ‘Āmalakī,’ and so forth.

‘River’—the Gaṅgā and the Yamunā; she who bears these names.

Apastambha Dharma Sutra Paṭala 1: Section 3

  1. One named after an asterism, or after a river, or after a tree is not commended

Yama Smriti also says the same.

In selecting a wife one should avoid one named after a Veda, or a river, or a mountain or a Gandharva, or an asterism, or a tree, or a creeper.

Now a days, these are not followed as we see many people named after rivers and constellations. People could be naming their daughters after river names because rivers are sacred. They might be thinking naming them denotes purity like the rivers itself.

  • For clarification is this the creeper plant or does it mean a creeping thing, such as a bug? May 3, 2018 at 4:14
  • By that logic wouldn't Rohini, Revati, Kalindi, Shakuntala, Valli, Tulasi etc all be invalid?
    – Surya
    May 5, 2018 at 6:20

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